A former American national security adviser once called Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave sandwiched between the NATO members Poland and Lithuania, “a dagger in the heart of Europe.” Now Kaliningrad, a port city captured from the Nazis by the Soviet Union during World War II, once again finds itself a faultContinue Reading

Kurkov kept writing his article on the plane, and by the time we reached Charles de Gaulle, it was finished. He was staying in a hotel near the Jardin du Luxembourg. When we arrived there, in the pouring rain, a little after 11:30 a.m., someone from his French publisher, LianaContinue Reading

TIRASPOL, TRANSNISTRIA — At the Back in the U.S.S.R. cafe, it is like the Soviet Union never collapsed. Busts of Lenin greet visitors at the door. Red hammer and sickle flags hang on the wall. Huge plastic Soviet-era telephones sit on the tables, next to bowls of traditional borscht andContinue Reading

BRUSSELS — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has said stopping NATO’s expansion helped drive him to invade Ukraine. But on Thursday, Finland declared its unequivocal intention to join, not only upending Mr. Putin’s plan but placing the alliance’s newest prospective member on Russia’s northern doorstep. The declaration by Finland’sContinue Reading

PARIS — In the past, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has used the annual celebration of the Soviet victory over the Nazis in 1945 to cement his steady militarization of Russian society, extol the values of heroic patriotism, and contrast Russia’s warrior spirit with what he sees as theContinue Reading

“There is a widening consensus about supplying Ukraine howitzers and more complex weapons systems, and everyone is now doing that,” Mr. Heisbourg noted. “But it’s another thing to pivot the war aim from Ukraine to Russia. I don’t believe there’s any consensus on that.” Weakening Russia’s military capacity “is aContinue Reading

WASHINGTON — Using a mix of high-tech and Cold War tactics, Ukrainian activists and Western institutions have begun to pierce the propaganda bubble in Russia, circulating information about the Ukraine war among Russian citizens to sow doubt about the Kremlin’s accounts. The efforts come at a particularly urgent moment: MoscowContinue Reading

In 1938, her father, then a deputy minister of film, had been overseeing construction of the Kremlin’s movie theater when a lamp exploded. Stalin believed it was an assassination attempt and sentenced him to five months in prison. Speaking from Latvia, her son, Mr. Livnev, who is also a filmContinue Reading

“The Americans were not willing to escalate militarily,” said Husain Haqqani, a Pakistani ambassador to Washington during the Obama administration. Even when President Barack Obama ordered a raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011, Mr. Haqqani added, “a big concern was, what if Pakistan retaliates andContinue Reading

BRUSSELS — As President Biden and 29 other leaders of NATO walked into the alliance’s sprawling Brussels headquarters Thursday morning, they passed a graffiti-sprayed remnant of the Berlin Wall, a monument to Europe’s belief that it had won a permanent victory over the nuclear-armed, authoritarian adversary that challenged the WestContinue Reading